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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended February 09, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 08Feb01

By Deborah Carl

Mad dog unleashed

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Mark Madsen, 25, selected in the first-round 2000 NBA draft, is happy to be a Laker. He's getting more court time now that NBA Most Valuable Player Shaquille O'Neal has missed the past five games due to a sprained arch. On Jan. 31 he played 33 minutes and scored 15 points during the Lakers' game against Minnesota.

During Feb. 4's game against the Sacramento Kings, O'Neal called Madsen to the bench to say, "Stop being so nice out there." "Hey, I'm not nice on the court," Madsen said, "I'm just getting started." Madsen won All-Pac-10 honors at Stanford and the nickname "Mad Dog" in the fifth grade.

Madsen's mother, Erlyn Madsen, worried that the three-year, $2.2 million contract would change her son, but co-workers report he's still nice. Madsen baked a chocolate cake for the trainer who soothed his back spasms, he tries to talk with rookie Stanislav Medvedenko, who doesn't speak much English, and he takes time to visit with the security guards. However, O'Neal, who put Madsen through a crash course on how to be a Laker, helped Madsen trade in his bright turtleneck shirts with horizontal stripes to dark slacks and shirts and a leather jacket.

Madsen is one of 10 children in a Mormon family and served a mission in Spain. He is one of four Mormon players in the NBA this year.


Mad dog unleashed
Orange co CA Register 6Feb01 A2
By Marcia C. Smith: Orange County Register
With O'Neal out, Madsen is playing meaningful minutes and toughening up


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